Capturing crucial components
When a machine breaks down it is imperative that the malfunctioning component is replaced immediately. Often times this replacement is not documented correctly. If the component malfunctions again, this could impose further downtime and production loss for the factory. It could also endanger the lives of the technicians.
Schematic Capture is replacing and archaic system by organizing photos of factory components and easing downtime of effected machinery.
The 'engineers' behind the project
I was the UX Designer for Schematic Capture. I worked with three web developers and one iOS developer over the course of two months as part of an internship for Alloy Technologies.
Grinding woes of a technician
The biggest challenge were that there was no existing product comparable to this. There were no direct competitors. The application had to be developed from the ground up. We discovered the current state of notating machinery was with physical photographs and logs.
Efficaciously producing a solution
The goal of this application is to replace paper logs and physical photographs that could take hours to organize. These physical documents can also be destroyed or misplaced. By streamlining the documentation process it reduces machine downtime, increasing production revenue. It also provdies a safer way to conduct employee onboarding by having an organized method to present machinery to engineers.
Our primary objective was to develop an application that would read job sheets and allow a user to capture and annotate an image of an individual component. Users would also be able to reuse images if multiple components were in one image.
User research consisted of reaching out to engineers, factory managers, and our stakeholder. I wanted to see what methods they utilized in order to document any malfunctions. The key takeaways from the research were: most places still utilized physical logs; machines in disrepair were often reported multiple times or sometimes not at all; it is difficult to provide new hires with orientation of machines in a live production environment; multiple photographs had to be taken of one machine in order to document different components. all-inclusive of different types of culinary artists.
Producing the menu
The first screen I tackled was the apps main menu. In the initial sketch I envisioned the needs of the user as follows: to import a job sheet; to upload a job sheet and to view their work list of job sheets.
Translating this to a digital screen, I removed the work-list button to further simplify the menu's function.
In the next version, I added back the option to view the work-list, however the import job sheets being the primary function of the menu.
In this final screen, I made use of the menu icon in the app and provided a sleeker menu wth further functions, including the option to toggle to dark mode and the ability to log out of the application.
In the initial sketch, I wanted to show the capability of adding a notation to a photograph. By clicking the appropriate icon and then the image, the user would be able to add the notation.
In this screen, I stayed close to the initial sketch, adding the ability to change the notation color under the appropriate icons.
In this verson, I cleaned up the icons by simplifying once again, showing the selected icon and its chosen color. I also shrank the size of the save button to mitigate space.
In this final design, the save button has been replaced by a save icon.
Assembling the import menu
In order for a user to import specific job sheets to process, I sketched out an import checklist screen.
This screen stays close to my original sketch, allowing the user to select specific jobs sheets.
Removing the gray background and spacing out the text improved the import menu greatly.
In the final design, at the request of the stakeholder, a 'select all' options was added.
Forging the job sheet
A job sheet is a rather large spreadsheet file housing pertinent information about a given machine. In my initial sketch I added a column of camera icons for each component.
This view shows the low fidelity mock up of the job sheet. Ideally the camera icon would go from black to green once an image of the component was captured.
With the job sheets being so massive, it was discovered that it would take unncessary time to scroll through all the information, so I sketched out individual cards highlighting the most important information of each component in an easily digestible way.
The early development of these 'component cards' had buttons to either capture an image of the component or view futher details about the component.
Simplifying this design even further, buttons were replaced with recognizable icons, making the cards take up even less space.
In the final design the caret icon was made smaller, the shadows removed and a line drawn between each component card for a more modern design.
Fabricating a new request
After the completion of the schematic capture app, the stakeholder provided input on what he would like to see for a computer dashboard in order for a technician to retrieve and upload job sheets. The earliest design was made as a digital mock up that provides a list of job sheets, the technicians that were assigned to them and whether or not they've been completed.
Working with the stakeholders input, this version provided a more streamlined look of the dashboard, allowing a tech to view job sheets for a company under a specific project. There were three access levels of the dashboard: Admin with full rights: technician that could access multiples clients/companies: and employee that could only access their company.
In this screen, a profile avatar was added and some of the iconography was tidied up.
Formulating the future
During the 8 weeks I had with Schematic Capture, I was able to build a working prototype from the ground up. I started the dashboard design and there were many directions I wanted to take it, however time was not my friend. I felt that the dashboard could also be integrated into the capture app. I could also see the bones of schematic capture being used in other fields such as plumbing, electrical, and possibly surgical x-rays.